Banks have surpassed the agriculture credit disbursement target for last fiscal year 2011-12 as they extended loans amounting to Rs293.8 billion to the farmers, which was Rs8.8 billion or 3% more than the annual target of Rs285 billion.
The loans were 11.7% higher compared to Rs263 billion disbursed in 2010-11, shows data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday.
Five large banks – National Bank, Habib Bank, MCB Bank, Allied Bank and United Bank – collectively gave agriculture loans amounting to Rs146.3 billion, higher by 4.3% compared with Rs140.3 billion loaned in the preceding fiscal year.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank lent Rs66.06 billion or 94.2% of its annual target of Rs70.1 billion while Punjab Provincial Co-operative Bank (PPCB) disbursed Rs8.5 billion or 11.8% more than its target of Rs7.6 billion.
Fourteen domestic private banks as a group lent Rs60.9 billion, 12.5% higher than the target of Rs54.1 billion.
Five microfinance banks gave Rs12.1 billion in farm loans, close to the annual target of Rs12.2 billion.
In a press release, the SBP said the banks had been missing the agriculture credit disbursement targets since 2008-09, adding the achievement of the target in 2011-12 was extremely difficult in the backdrop of continuous decline in private sector credit and high agriculture non-performing loans due to devastating floods of 2010 and heavy rains of 2011 in Sindh.
These efforts included swift settlement of crop loan insurance claims, close coordination with provincial revenue departments to facilitate one-window operation in agriculture-intensive districts for timely completion of revenue formalities, holding of farmer awareness and financial literacy programmes at grass roots level and follow-up of targets with the top management of banks.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2012.
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